Whistler – British Columbia – 2013 – Day 5

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We woke up bright and early to make our way to Whistler. Arrived an hour ahead of time. We booked on the Whistler.com and booked the Superfly – Ziplines & Treetop Adventures – 3 Activity Combo. We chose Ziplining, Tree-top Trekking and Scandinave Spa. We started the day with zip lining. Our guides were Mel from Ontario and Fran from England. It was an amazing thrill to zip line down the world’s highest lines (1st and 2nd highest) and do 6 runs. We liked to make things easier for people so we introduced ourselves as Yo Ro Jo and Vicky. Along for this adventure were a couple named Brittany and Nick from Ottawa and Shane and Steve from Alberta.

Ziplining tips: You pencil or dolphin to go fast and squirrel to slow down.

The fastest line we went on was called Godzilla and when Jo and Vicky went down, Jo startled a doe passing underneath. The very last line called Base-runner had a challenge: if you can keep a note the entire run down you win a chocolate bar which Vicky tried to do. She sang “I came in like a wrecking ball” but fell short. As we were leaving the last platform, the girls turned to me and said surprise! They split the cost for the whistler adventures for me since it was my birthday then we turned to Yo and told her that we also paid for her adventure as well. I’m not one to celebrate my birthday but I am glad timing was perfect to goto Vancouver and especially with these wonderful ladies.

We ended up waiting until 130PM instead of starting at 1PM for tree top trekking because we were waiting for 4 more to join. Jenya our guide brought us over to the demo course to make sure we knew safety procedures and I was starting irritated because the group of 4 that joined us were too slow. Luckily, when it came time for the real thing, Vicky went first and we just sped through it. Some of the “games” were easy but some were so hard and required a lot of arm and leg strength. Secret to one of the games with logs was to step only in the centre because it teeters and another with the balls was to step on the sides because the balls spin. I think my fave were the bridges that you need stretch across or in my case, lunge across. The Tarzan rope swing was pretty cool as you propel yourself into a net then climb up. There was only one obstacle I had difficulties with at first as you hold on to a two handed pulley then you launch yourself off with no view of what is next until you have launched. Luckily, there is give in your safety line. The ziplining portion was good but the harness dug into your sides as you zipped. Jenya said we were probably one of the maybe loudest groups she has had. Good to have Vicky leading us through as we finished in an hour. It was also perfect timing to head back to Whistler Village. We got a photo with the Olympic rings then we walked over to Whistler Museum where I was able to see my dear friend Patricia Lynn who I haven’t seen in at least 2 years (my uni mate) who is now living in Whistler.

We were behind our schedule so after a short catch-up, we were on our way to the Scandinave spa. We had access to their pools where you soak in the hot ones for 10 minutes, transfer to a cold one for however long you desire then relax in a hammock or solarium for 10 minutes and repeat. All in silence. We were only able to complete 2 rounds of this before we had to leave and scurry over to Surrey for Joanne’s family Thanksgiving dinner. Ended off the night with good company and great food.

Hong Kong 2012 – Day 4 & 5

09/27/12

Georgina was born in Hong Kong and had to goto the Post Office to collect her Hong Kong Citizenship cheque. After she collected her cheque, we headed to Victoria Peak. Took the 7A bus then the subway to Admiralty then took a taxi (20HKD) to the peak tram. It cost 40HKD with return to go up the peak. We met our first Canadians on the tram going up. They have been travelling since the beginning of the month and they were in Tibet and China previously before coming to Hong Kong. The tram travels at 45 degrees and takes about 10 minutes and at the very top there is a whole new little town. The people who live up on the peak pretty much are the rich people. Hong Kong runs on escalators galore. The mall at the top has a 5 floors plus another galleria across from it. We decided to walk around the peak and take the main path about 2800M.

It was such a beautiful day to walk the path and luckily there was no smog (barely any) so we could see everything. My goal today was to recreate a photo of my mother on the peak as a teen. The heat kept the bugs away but there was no breeze so the the humidity was strong. Since the land tax is so high, there were multiple properties that have been abandoned. After our walk of the peak we were famished and decided to eat at the top floor of the Peak Plaza at Bubba Gump Shrimp. Fish n chips – can’t go wrong!

We decided to taxi and subway over to Tsim Sha Tsui (zeem sha chuy). The subway station is so long that you can much walk 3-4 blocks underground where you have sections with the moovators that the airports. Tsim Sha Tsui has a large community of South Asians. Our original plan was to take the Star ferry night ride but once we past the HK Museum of art it opened up into the pier/boardwalk and I have to tell you, it was breath-taking. It was one of those moments you just stood and had to take it all in. It’s as beautiful as the postcards. We found a street of food and grabbed food at a curry house. I had the Karikake soba noodle combo – light and nice with a hokkaido pudding to end it off. The bus line for the 72 was enormous but surprisingly that line moved quickly. For each bus, there is a queue where you line up behind and for the most part, it’s organized.

09/28/12

We dropped off our laundry at Jackson – 38HKD for our load which is priced by weight. They returned it all ironed and folded in a plastic bag.

I wanted to go to Shek-O as that was my father’s old hangout as a teen however it was too far out and unfortunately I wasn’t abel to recreate a photo there. We made our way to Stanley instead.

The 73 bus took us all the way to Stanley Centre Rd where Stanley Market is located. The area is slopy and has a windy one-laned roads. It took a decent amount of time to travel the distance. There are a few country clubs and beach houses roadside but also some shack-like residences. The terrain and environment in this area has lush greenery and they also have grass (which is sparse or for the wealthy who can afford it). Stanley is the european area of the island and has a rich history apparently.

Stanley Market is a very constricted area with little shops lined up one by one. There are tons of expats that live in this area. We ended up walking to the Stanley Pier and it was once again one of those breathtaking moments. You get the market in the background with local residence intertwined then a boardwalk with tiny shops and a soccer field. We never made it to the beaches because we were too busy climbing rocks. Unfortunately the sunset was cut short as the cloud coverage rolled in quickly.

We ate at Stanley Restaurant and had Pineapple fried rice with chicken, cashews and veggies. Hopped on the 67 bus and to Times Square. Times square is like Toronto’s Eatons centre but is 7 floors tall.

I am a Chinese born Canadian (CBC) however if someone speaks to me in Cantonese, I for the most part understand but will respond in English because my canto is really bad and very Canadian-ized. Being in Hong Kong however has improved my listening and understanding skills however conversing-wise, nothing. Luckily Georgina is fluent. It is ridiculously expensive to live in Hong Kong especially for the size of the property. There was a story in particular that showed a family of 4 living in a 100 square meter apartment and they make 2100HKD/month which isn’t even that much to live off of. That’s 300CAD/month.